On Tuesday, a student walked into class with a bowl of candy. He immediately approached me and offered some. Having the sweet tooth that I do, I gratefully accepted and took a mini-chocolate bar.
“Take another one!” He insisted.
“That’s okay. Thank you, though!”
He remained standing, bowl extended. “Take another one for later! For when you’re on the road!”
I looked up at his smiling face and did just that.
This class is an enjoyable group of students, but this particular student has to be one of the happiest people I have ever met. He is always smiling, always brightening up our dreary, windowless classroom and is always wishing me a fantastic or spectacular day on his way out.
The first day I wondered, is he for real? And ever since then I am reminded with each encounter, that yes, yes he is.
He immediately jumped up. She walked over, looked at the selection, chose something, but seemed a bit unsure with her decision.
“Is it okay if I have another piece too?”
I watched this exchange knowing what would come next. He would say yes.
But his answer surprised me.
“Please! Take three!”
I stared for a moment. He was smiling. She was smiling. I was smiling. I turned to him and had to say something.
“What a nice response.” The class looked up, not sure what I was talking about. I explained. “Isn’t that such a nice answer? He could have just said ‘Yes. Take two.’ But I love that he said, ‘Take three!’”
The class agreed and more candy was passed around before we got back to work.
This moment stayed with me for the rest of the day. It wasn’t just what he said, it was how he said it. He said it like he meant it. Not like he was annoyed or giving an answer he didn’t want or worse—providing an automatic, robotic response.
And that’s when it hit me. It’s not just that this student is happy, kind and sweet. It’s that he has a generosity of spirit. When he wishes you a nice day, he means it with all his might. When he gives you a piece of candy, he wants you to enjoy as much you want.
How amazing is that?
Sure. People do nice things all day long. Some even put a lot of thought into the act. But more often than not, we give without thinking, without the pleasure behind it.
Giving is supposed to make the receiver and the giver feel good—a win win. Sometimes in the act of giving, we forget that.
If we could all do a little more to stretch our generosity of spirit, it would make a world of difference. So give an extra piece of candy. Tip an extra dollar. Lend a helping hand or lend an ear. Those things are all wonderful. But most of all?
Do it with a smile.
Be sincere, mean it and fully feel it. Because being generous with our spirit, with how we give, is just as important as the nice act itself.
Thank you for the touching moment. It was nice to be reminded that it doesn’t take much to spread a little extra joy.